Saint John’s University property is comprised of 2,400 acres of hardwood forest, prairie remnants, oak savanna, lakes and wetlands. The University’s Strategic Plan specifically addresses the importance of maintaining and enhancing the quality of the property’s natural environment. The natural features are considered an amenity to the community, and the University’s lakes and wetlands are high profile resources serving many functions. Recently, the Arboretum conducted a study to characterize and help manage the campus watershed and water resources.
The study’s purpose was to provide a detailed analysis of the watershed’s hydrologic regime from a surface water quantity and quality perspective. Several areas of concern provided the impetus for this study: East Gemini Lake receives direct discharge from the University’s wastewater treatment plant. Over time, nutrient loading has impacted the water quality. The quality of the wetland marsh located downstream of East Gemini Lake also has been affected. However, other upstream lakes within the University property reflect higher water quality, and the University recognizes the need and value in maintaining these lakes.
Overall goals of the study were to identify sources and amounts of phosphorus loading to the main water bodies on campus, to recommend management actions for priority water resources, and to create a framework for a water quality management plan.
Watershed Characterization Report